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Seductive Powers Of Genji Essay

  • Submitted by: icecream24
  • on October 27, 2010
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 1,462 words

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Below is an essay on "Seductive Powers Of Genji" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

                                                                 Seductive Powers of Genji
         What is arguably the greatest written work in Japanese history; The Tale of Genji provides insights to the intricacies of the life of a courtier during the Heian period. The novel centers on the life, particularly the love life, of one such courtier, Hikaru Genji. Within the first few chapters the reader is exposed to Genji’s various encounters with a variety of women. One of the most debated topics concerning this book is whether Genji’s intercourse with these women would be considered rape or simply seduction. Furthermore, in light of this topic, how can we compare Genji’s escapades to the romantic relationships in Western literature?
         In order to fully understand the point of view the novel was written in we must discus premarital relationships during the Heian period. As is often seen in literature from this period, sexual relationships began with a rape-like incident and was followed by either a quick, severing of relations or a long-term affair. These forced sexual encounters, which were consistent with the cultural norms, stem from a variety of motives. The first motive for pursuing relations with a woman was lust and desire in addition to an open opportunity. This scenario generally begins and ends as a one-night stand. The second purpose is a deeper imbedded longing for a woman for more than just her outward appearance. This encounter tends to be the result of much planning and may turn into a continuing affair with the woman returning to live with the man as his courtesan. The last situation begins with unrequited love and ends as the man acts out his desires. The prospective ending of this kind of relationship varies from story to story. Though all of these scenarios change the mindset of the action itself, the woman’s expected role was still the same. Unless there was a pre-arranged understanding already in place, it was customary for the woman...

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